Judges said the GOV.UK website is well thought out, understated and faster and easier for people to use

Government website wins design award

The government's new website has won the Design Museum design of the year award.

The website, GOV.UK, which aims to bring different UK Government websites into one place,  is well thought out, understated and faster and easier for people to use, according to the museum's judging panel.

Judges billed it as one of the leading government websites in the world as it beat 98 international rival entries from the fields of architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, products and transport.

The award was presented to designer Ben Terrett, executive director of the Government Digital Service, which designed the site, and civil society minister Nick Hurd at a central London ceremony.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "delighted" with the award, adding: "For the first time, people can find out what's happening inside government, all in one place, and in a clear and consistent format.

"It is just another example of Britain's world class design talent standing out on the global stage; in this case helping to enhance the modern relationship between the public and government."

Beaten finalists included a folding wheel for wheelchairs, the renovation of a faded 1960s tower block in Paris, a landmark documentary on fashion icon Diana Vreeland and a chair built using the latest computer technology.

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, said: “GOV.UK is a remarkable success on so many levels. It makes life better for millions of people coping with the everyday chores, from getting a new passport, to paying their taxes.

“It’s a reflection of the government understanding how to communicate with the country in a way that works, it’s simple, direct, well  mannered, all the things that we would like to take for granted from the government, but in a sea of red tape and jargon, usually can’t.

“GOV.UK looks elegant, and subtly British thanks to a revised version of a classic typeface, designed by Margaret Calvert back in the 1960s. It is the Paul Smith of websites. The rest of the world is deeply impressed, and because it has rationalised multiple official websites, it saves the taxpayer millions, what’s not to like?”

The other category winners, announced last week, were:

• Architecture - Tour Bois-le-Petre, Paris, designed by Frederic Druot, Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal

• Fashion - Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has To Travel directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland

• Furniture - Medici chair designed by Konstantin Grcic for Mattiazzi

• Graphics - Venice Architecture Biennale identity designed by John Morgan Studio

• Products - Kit Yamoyo designed by ColaLife and PI Global

• Transport - Morph folding wheel designed by Vitamins for Maddak Inc

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